In an article I read today people over 50 discussed
Their feelings about death. The article mentioned Steve
Jobs’ death. Me: “There is no way Steve Jobs died in 2011”
If you had asked me how much time had passed I’d have said
A year, maybe eighteen months. My takeaway: It’s time, not
Death we should be talking about. They (THEY) have always said
Time passes faster the older you get. Run a mile on a quarter
Mile track. That first lap takes forever. Like a five year
Old waiting for Christmas. The last flies by. Like the time
between birthdays for an 80 (no…now 81) year old. Time
Is measured in perspective. Time, not death, is the quandary.

For optimistic 50 year olds at their halfway point and now
Over that half-century hump, the passing of time terrifies,
Confuses, horrifies. But nobody is talking. When it’s the same
Time distance from 80 as from 35, and 35 was just yesterday…
Still, time’s passing accelerates. Scary. Unnerving. Exponential.
When I was young the middle aged warned me time will start
Rushing by. Deaf ears. A friend captioned a photo of her son’s
College graduation “My parents said it would be here in an
Instant.” It was Christmas last week. Now the trees
Are in full leaf and somehow it’s summer. Halloween is
Just a week away in three minutes we’ll be counting down to
Another Christmas, a new year. Happy New Year. Again. So fast.

What is the anectode to rushing time, wooshing past at
Sci-fi movie speed? Is it the day? Is it the moment?
Years roar by but a day can last a lifetime. Let it last a
Lifetime. Embrace the day. Wallow in the moment.
Kids (me, just last week) sleep until noon, but those
Who know are mostly up with the sun. Marvel at the early
Morning light, the cool air. Commit to linger over coffee,
To plan a day with anticipation. A treasure chest of hours
Stretch. The minutes tick. The hours invite. A day’s
memories beacon, putting brakes on the breakneck
Speed of time’s passing. Good morning, welcome new day.

Pierre Morning

Pierre the cat was my alarm clock this morning
Like every morning 5:20 AM the onslaught
Starts not so much a ringing siren as a carefully
Thought out plan like a military exercise first
Comes peering into my face from the maximum
6-inch distance his blurry face maybe a mirage
But no next he’s gently touching my cheek then
Forehead with mostly clawless kindly placed
Paw pats I’m determined today to ignore but
Rub his cinnamon paws scratch under his chin
As a sign I’m not happy with this early morning
Attention though sometimes I’ll stoically pull
The sheet over my head to show I’m serious
About sleep but the next step is the most peculiar
He circles around behind me and combs through
My hair like Gore Vidal with partially extended
Comb claws to tenderly untangle a perfectly sized
Clump to bite a tug yes that’s right he pulls my
Hair in a choreographed dance that includes light
Claw scratches on skull followed by tugging a
Mouthful sized lock this entire routine’s endgame
Is a trip to the kitchen to fill his bowl with a quarter
Cup of kibble then hurry back to bed before fully alert
Love this short-lived dozy lull enjoy while it lasts
As now Pierre (and his satisfied belly) moseys back
Silently springs then hovers to pat my face again
“Don’t you want your coffee now?” he implores
In squeaking Pierre talk not a meow but a squeak
“Have you ever known a cat to squeak?” I ask
“I’ve never met a cat like Pierre” is the reply
As his completely relaxed baby cradled body
Rumbles in a purr fest and I kiss his forehead


“You can let me know…oh, right… “ I start a Google search
“You can look it up right now. What was I thinking?”
Said my 86-year-old mom when we were talking about,
Well, it could have been almost anything. I’m always
Checking, confirming I’m correct or learning I’m wrong.

Either way it’s the information at hand seconds away
Never a delay I love being able to look it up. Find out
Anything. Read about everything. Last week I confirmed
That Meryl Streep is in her 60s (she’s 65) when someone
(My sister) thought she is 70. Information is always

Available never far away no need for patience, or a
Card catalogue, an encyclopedia (though as a kid I loved
The “D” Britannica with its dog breed pictures) I like being
Right and knowing when I’m not my phone confirms or
Denies in a blink of an eye no arguments facts are great

Unionville Road Ride

Spring’s first road ride ready route chosen beauty beckons
Hills loom large school lot start playlist shuffle set right
Earbud in music on we’re off lush summer growth adorns
Rolling hills pedal north past picturesque stone barn pastures

First turn long downhill wind rushes wheels spin faster
Road curves honeysuckle scent scenic farmhouse, flowers
Surround ancient red barn needing paint faded chipping
Every view a photo op locations catalogued as pedals turn

Right turn spectacular orange poppies greet straight carless
Road pothole minefield prevents speed bored black cows ignore
Our passing 
full mane horses graze before stark and excellent
Leafless tree fatigue pattern bark covers thick strong trunk beautiful

Skeletal state (death becomes you) first hill just ahead tense shoulders
Anticipation distracts music stops with weird timing complete
Silence as assent begins a single word “fear” taunts more silence
Follows a second “fear” sung in superb acapella as heavy breathing

Harmonizes with silence and a perfectly timed prodding word
Fear dismissed hill’s crest welcomes rewards with accelerating
Speed descent second hill’s word floating in silence is paranoia
Is shuffle really random? Hills’ challenge met first road ride

Skeletal Soul

Stark and excellent leafless tree variegated fatigue
Patterned bark covering thick powerful trunk twins awe
Struck skeletal soul surprises (death becomes you beautiful
Lifeless giant) why did you go? Who mourns your

Passing as frolicking lush spring green surrounds
Delighting in wondrous newness sprouting new leaves
Before patient eyes thickening scrub flowering evolving
Please remember past cooling shade shadows cast

Broad reach no more still standing tall reminding those who
Listen of transitory mortality temporary presence quiet
Or loud departure watchtower fixed firm awaiting
Inevitable hollowing decay past strength forever gone


Today I sat next to a woman while attending a closing for a transaction we’d worked on together for months. We had met in person only once before, but had exchanged dozens of emails and had many brief phone conversations.

She was always rushed, often harsh. I liked that she didn’t waste time. It was easy to see that she’d never be pushed around. I liked that too. I’d always tried to be clear and concise when we spoke. There was no spare time.

Today her face was tired. She’d arrived late for the meeting, not apologizing when she entered but saying “I hate GPS”. She had come from a distance, another meeting. She had more meetings following ours.

Our part of the closing was brief, and there was time to talk. I commented about how busy she was. She looked me in the eye for the first time. Then she leaned toward me and whispered, “A dear friend called me this morning and said ‘happy belated mothers day’. I was puzzled. I thought it was strange. I tentatively said ‘thanks…’ Then my friend said ‘did you get the message I left for you? Bill died on Sunday” Bill was her husband, He died two days ago”

Slowly, she softly said, “I had seen that she called, but I hadn’t had a chance to listened to her message…”

Happy Flowers

“This makes me happy” I say “Yay” comes the response
I carry a pitcher of water outside soaking the large
Full pot of classic cranberry geraniums lavishly overflowing
Tin trough with thick rope handles and drilled drain holes

This is a day I cherish my annual trip to the garden store
Filling my rear hatch no room to spare every inch a burst
Of color crimson coral plum rose white each beauty carefully
Chosen with a preordained place a specific summer spot

Growing and blooming prompts the seasons morning ritual
Early cool shimmering dew sparkling water brilliant days
Puttering pruning breathing sipping sitting appreciating
Serene smile daily send off “This makes me Happy” I say


I guess buying progressive lens glasses means I’ve finally succumbed to middle age. They arrived in the mail yesterday. When I think of myself as middle aged, I’m hit by a wave of disbelief while simultaneously hearing Woody Allen’s voice from I don’t remember which movie saying something like “you call yourself middle aged…how long do you expect to live?” At this point I’m working on the 100 and teens. I fully understanding the meaning of ambivalence.

The purchase was by chance when we ducked into Urban Outfitters in the Upper West Side to kill time before a dinner reservation. It was a weekend visit that apparently included buying expensive glasses after photographing flowers in Central Park. In Urban Outfitters I discovered a glasses kiosk with super cool glasses and an even cooler salesman who effortless sold me a pair of trendy glasses in the 20 minutes we had before our reservation. “We have Urban Outfitters in Pennsylvania’ was the only weak objection I raised to his nearly invisible sales pitch. Of course the glasses stand is “a NYC only thing, not part of the store and we ship worldwide (Italy and Nepal he said)” as I pulled out my AMEX card and let him measure my face.

Coincidentally I also had an eye doctor appointment the following Monday so I guess the purchase was not entirely by chance. For several years I’ve worn Costco 3 in a pack for $19 readers dangling from the end of my nose. The look is reminiscent of Mark Shields, the columnist who provides the liberal counterpoint to David Brooks on PBS. Or Howard Fineman. Two liberal thinkers who look smart in their middle age, which is how I’ve imagined myself when looking over the top of my glasses at earnest 30 year olds while explaining the plan to sell their home. Alternatively, I’ve wondered if they are thinking “what are we doing working with this woman who’s our moms’ age”

So this morning I’m learning the process of isolating the band of glass that fits my gaze. Moving my head rather than my eyes is an unnatural challenge. I’ve been told the adaptation period is short. I’m skeptical. I’ve been working hard trying to get the hang of it, simultaneously willing away the creeping migraine trying to access my brain. We’ll see who wins. The important thing is these glasses look cool, even “sort of edgy” according to my assistant, and I cling to this as I move my head around like C-3PO, trying to get everything in focus.


Life’s transitions sunset night dawn breaks inviting open
Doors wide expansive vistas dizzying beauty calling step out
Walk through outstretched arms open heart pounding which
Route why no color-coded trails for life heart’s desire obscured

Endless choices mesmerize scintillate potentially changing
Life’s direction like a pinball’s ricochet joyous terrifying
Overwhelming options tempt confuse the lost and level headed
Inciting hearts and heads into battle for the upper hand

Fear immobilizes cautious and uncertain heads confidence
Activates hope full hearts questioning yearning gathering weighing
Target fixed one step at a time obstacles shrink passion
Quickens desire propels forward giant courageous strides